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Islay whiskies have a reputation as 'peat bombs.' And while this may be a major characteristic of most of the whiskies from the Island (The sweeter, sherried Bunnahabhain being a notable exception), for me only one of them is worthy of being the Peat King, and that is Laphroaig.
While Lagavulin and Highland Park may be fairly peaty, they also boast other characteristics. And Ardbeg, which many consider to be up there with Laphroaig in peatiness, also has a fruity side. And although the complexity and range of flavours in these whiskies may outweigh that of Laphroiag's, you have to admire Laphroiag for it's boldness. Don't get me wrong, there are other flavours, and there is a level of complexity and balance. But these never compromise the peatiness, only compliment it.
Laphroaig knows what it is about, and is proud of it, making it the ultimate peat experience.
Nose: Wow. Big peat, straw, smoke. Seaweed, and slight chlorine.
Taste: Again, peat. Pungent at first, but develops into delicate flavours. Honey, butter and sweetcorn. Big, tasty and really well balanced.
Finish: Long finish, the peat goes on and on, but now with some spice. Salt also arrives. Smoke also rises, and finishes with a lovely sweetness.
This whisky is big and powerful, yet clean and fresh. Huge, exceptional nose, great taste, and a superb finish. Not one for the beginner!